Weekly Newsletter

February 9, 2023

Message from Principal Emma Liebowitz

Save the date! Below are the days and times for preschool and kindergarten registration.
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Thursday, February 9 - Report Cards sent home

Thursday, February 9 - Virtual PTO Meeting at 7:00 (link below)

Wednesday, February 15 - All School Meeting at 2:15

February 20 - 24 - February Vacation

February 21 - Sanderson Students Leave for Mexico

Link to Sanderson Academy calendar.

PTO Meeting

Our next PTO meeting is virtual on Thursday, February 9th at 7pm.

Here is the meeting link. https://meet.google.com/hyn-vrmx-hxd

On the agenda: dance recap, assemblies and upcoming events.

New members are always welcome!

Health Office News from Nurse Loranna

Please continue to keep your sick children at home; spring will come and we will open the windows and play in the sunshine but for now we are still in peak illness season and illnesses spread quickly in the school setting! Students need to be at least 24 hours fever free without the use of fever reducing medication, if they have a frequent cough or runny nose they should stay home until it’s improved, 24 hours free of vomiting/diarrhea and able to eat a full meal, also, students should be well enough to participate in school. Test frequently if unwell and let me know if you need any covid test kits.

Keep encouraging frequent hand washing, cough etiquette, plenty of sleep and water.

Please let me know if your child is feeling unwell ~thank you! 🌷

Preschool News from Ms. Freeman

Preschoolers are using crayons, markers, and colored pencils to color, write, and draw. Many preschoolers are giving their drawings to their families. To support this interest and encourage more writing, we have transformed our Pretending Area into a Post Office. Preschoolers are very interested in this new Learning Center and are embracing the role of a postal worker. They wear costumes, load envelopes into a mailbag, and deliver packages. Our postal workers will be extra busy on Tuesday, Valentine’s Day, finding their friends’ mailboxes and mailing their valentines.

Besides learning about postal workers, we had another community helper visit us. We would like to thank Officer Eric for spending time in our classroom and reading a story to us. We hope you visit again soon!

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Preschool News from Ms. Melanie

As part of our learning about animals in winter, we looked for tracks in the snow and guessed what animal could have made them. Then we had a chance to make our own tracks using paint! We took turns having the bottoms of our bare feet painted blue and carefully stood on a sheet of black paper. Then we painted our hands and pressed them on the paper as well. They came out great! It was wonderful fun and some of us thought it was a little ticklish and laughed out loud! Our “tracks” are hanging on our classroom wall and we have been noticing the variety in sizes. We guessed which ones were bigger or smaller and then used a ruler to measure them.

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Kindergarten News from Ms. Sarah

We had a 100 days of school celebration this week! We did lots of movement games and songs to celebrate the number 100. One hundred seems like a lot, but it is just ten 10s! We made crowns to wear that said, “100 Days Smarter,” and enjoyed some new changes in our room—like a new welcome song, a new pointer for reading charts, and a new Mr. Potatohead!! In math, we did more fun activities to celebrate the number 100! We completed our own 100 charts that were missing the 10s, we played a race to 100 game, and we also made predictions of how full a baby jar would get with 100 drops of water. Then we counted out 100 drops to find the answer!

First Grade News from Ms. Wyckoff

In science we have started our life science unit. We are learning about the needs of living things, such as light, air, water, food and a suitable habitat. Many of our brook trout are now in the swim up phase. They are also called fry in this stage. Their yolk sac has been used up and they are now ready to begin feeding. First graders are eager to enter the classroom each morning to see the small but mighty changes that are happening!

After spending a good chunk of January focused on writing story problems in math, we are now focusing on identifying if two, two-dimensional shapes are congruent or not congruent. Two shapes are congruent if they are the same shape and the same size. Below is an example of two shapes that are congruent.

In our social/emotional curriculum (Second Step) we are finishing up our second unit focused on empathy. In this final lesson of the unit first graders are learning about how to show care and concern for others. Children learned that we can show others we care by showing compassion. Compassion is empathy in action. When something happens to someone we can listen to them, say kind words and ask how we can help. In our classroom we have class values. These values are: Safe, kind, respectful, responsible, helpful, flexible and brave. Each day children acknowledge their classmates by giving them gems. It makes everyone feel good about their kindness and builds our classroom community.

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Second Grade News from Ms. Robertson

As part of our continuing study of the book Stone Girl, Bone Girl by Laurence Anholt, we retold the beginning of the story using important details about the characters and the events. The beginning of the story focuses on Mary Anning when she was baby and tells of when she was struck by lightning. So, a retelling of this part might be: “There was a family who lived in a town near the seashore called Lyme Regis. One day she was with her nurse (nanny) and she was struck by lightning. Her father rushed to her when he heard the news, and when Mary opened her eyes and smiled at him, he knew that she was no ordinary girl.” After discussing the characters and the main event at the start of the story, students worked with a partner to practice retelling this part.

This week also finds us starting new Number Corner math activities and building upon past ones. The Number Corner activities this month have us practicing skills and concepts such as fractions (halves), addition to 1,000 using various strategies (place value, number lines), and telling time (to the nearest five minutes).

Our February calendar markers feature the flags of various countries, with the common denominator of each flag being the color red. (See a photo of calendar markers below.) After looking at the day’s flag, sharing observations about it, and locating the flag’s country on our world map, we determine if the red part of the flag makes up exactly half of the flag, more than half of the flag, or less than half of the flag.

We have also “opened” the “Base Ten Bank”, where we “deposit” base ten blocks (hundreds, tens, ones) into it. (See a photo of the Base Ten Bank below.) After we make a deposit using our base ten blocks, we compute our new balance. Currently we are drawing pictures of base ten blocks to find the bank’s balance. For example, if our current deposit is 54 and we are making a new deposit of 27, we have the addition problem of 54 + 37. We draw a picture using ten sticks and one circles to show 54 and 47 (ex. / / / / / oooo and / / / / ooooo oo) and then we see if we have enough ones to make a 10. If we do, we circle 10 ones to show that it is now a ten. Then we count the tens and the ones to find the new balance.

We are also engaged with a time telling activity called Capture the Clock, where we roll dice to determine how many jumps of 5 we will move around the clock to tell a time. For example, if we roll a 2 and a 1, we move three jumps of five to 15, for the time 1:15. We then see if we have the time on our gameboard, and if we do, we cross it off. The first team (students vs. teachers) to get three in a row, wins the round.

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Third Grade News from Ms. Carole

Third graders had a fabulous day last week learning about a famous artist who lived in Western Massachusetts. Having spent a few weeks becoming familiar with some of Norman Rockwell’s more famous works, they were ready to see the originals for themselves. We had structured tour time as well as some free exploration time, and students did a great job using both opportunities to appreciate these amazing pieces of work. The museum staff members were very impressed with both the knowledge and behavior of this class. We were grateful to get to share this opportunity with our Mexican guests, and we truly appreciate the chaperones who make our field trips possible. Here is a picture of all of us in front of Norman Rockwell’s studio:

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Fourth Grade News from Ms. Lagoy

The students in fourth grade enjoyed working on our February STEM project with the students from Escuela Lomas Altas last week. They were tasked with building a bow and an arrow that could be shot towards a target hung on the wall. They enjoyed this project so much that they will be working on it again this week.

Sixth Grade News from Ms. Lilly

We had a fun beginning to our week by getting to enjoy some ice cream and activities with the Mexican exchange students from Escuela Lomas Altas. Those fun activities let us bid farewell to our visitors and let us get a little more time to socialize before they headed back home. We also finished up our unit on prehistoric people and Mesopotamia and we will soon be creating some clay tablets to practice our cuneiform writing skills. Cuneiform is the oldest form of writing in the world! We will be making wedge-shaped marks on clay tablets to write our name like the people of Mesopotamia.

News from Ms. Prew

During math class, our wonderful Sanderson students often engage in an activity called Same & Different. Students examine a set of images and discuss things that they notice, including similarities and differences, using mathematical terms. Take a look at the examples of Same & Different below (penguins from 1st grade and sports courts from 4th grade). What do you notice? How are A and B mathematically the same? How are they mathematically different? I would love to hear your ideas! Enjoy! :) aprew@mtrsd.org

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Library News from Ms. Wilson

February is Black History Month, which is also called Black Excellence month. In the Library, we will honor Black History month by reading Nigel and the Moon by Antwan Eady and Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured White and Black America by Carole Boston Weatherford.

Research also continues with grades 3-6 in the library. Guided by the question, how can the library help us find information we need, students are learning to navigate Destiny Discover (our online catalog), as well as our online databases. You can easily access the catalog and databases from your home device via the Sanderson Academy website. Ask your student to show you how!

Last, I hope you can find a moment to read the latest district library newsletter, “Check it Out.” Not only will you learn about the many wonderful things happening in MTRSD libraries, but you will also find information about many fun family events happening in our community.

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Mindful Movement News from Ms. Sue

This week we celebrated the full moon, the Snow Moon, it is also the smallest full moon of 2023, if when you were looking at the moon this past weekend, you may have noticed an extra bright star below it, that was Regulus, the brightest star of Leo the Lion star constellation. We also took time to come up with I am statements about ourselves. Some of those might say I am Kind, I am Brave, I am Friendly, I am Fun, I am Strong, I am Peaceful, I am Calm, I am Beautiful, I am Handsome, I am Caring, I am Courageous, I am Loved, I am Happy…this is just a sampling of what students came up with!

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Parent Workshop

How to Effectively Communicate with your Student’s School Team

Monday, February 27th @ 5:30-6:30

Google Meet joining info

Video call link:


Or dial: ‪(US) +1 513-486-2530‬ PIN: ‪650 958 116‬#

Presented by Leann Loomis, Director of Pupil Personnel Services and parent representatives from elementary and secondary

Please reach out to Leann Loomis with any questions


413-625-0192 x1025

Mohawk Trail Elementary and Middle School Athletic Forum

WHEN: Friday, February 17th @ 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Mohawk Trail Auditorium

WHO: Parents and caregivers of MTRS and Hawlemont School District students in grades 4-8

This event will be hosted by Superintendent Sheryl Stanton and District Athletic Director Greg Lilly. The focus of this forum is to develop open lines of communication regarding the status and future of our Mohawk Trail Athletic Department. This is an opportunity for our community to voice their questions and concerns regarding the District’s athletic programming, and hopefully gain a clearer understanding and vision of MTRSD athletics moving forward. If you are unable to attend the event, please reach out to Greg Lilly at glillyAD@mtrsd.org with any questions! Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you all there!

District Library News

Follow this link to find out news about the elementary libraries in the Mohawk Trail District: https://www.smore.com/3e8yq

Community Engagement and Enrichment News

This newsletter includes information about summer programming. Here is the link: https://www.smore.com/2105m

2022 School Report Card

Every year, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education releases a report card for each school and district in the state. Just as a student's report card shows how they are doing in different classes, school and district report cards are designed to show parents and community members how a school or district is doing in different areas. Report cards highlight a school or district's strengths as well as any challenges that need to be addressed in order to make sure the needs of all students are being met.

Massachusetts sees families and the community as important partners in a school's success and spent time listening to parents to make sure the report cards were designed as easy-to-use tools that provide meaningful information.

What is the purpose of the school report cards?

Massachusetts is required by federal law to annually produce information about school performance for families and communities. Just as a student's report card shows how they are doing in different classes, school and district report cards are designed to show parents and community members how a school or district is doing in different areas. Report cards highlight a school or district's strengths as well as any challenges that need to be addressed in order to make sure the needs of all students are being met.

What type of information can be found on the report cards?

The report cards provide a different way of looking at information related to overall school performance. They include information in a variety of areas that we heard from parents are important:

    • Student Enrollment and Teacher Information

    • Student Attendance and Discipline

    • Academic Opportunities

    • College and Career Readiness

    • MCAS Performance

    • School Spending

    • Accountability Information

How were families involved in the development of the school report card?

Massachusetts sees families and the community as important partners in a school's success and spent time listening to parents to make sure the report cards were designed as easy-to-use tools that provide meaningful information. We posted online surveys during the initial and final phases of the report card design process. In addition, we worked with parent advocacy groups across the state to host feedback sessions with parents, to see where we needed to make improvements before the report cards were released.

Why are the school report cards important to families?
The school report card is one of many pieces of information parents receive about their child's education. When looked at alongside other measures like the child's report card, MCAS scores, and classroom work and tests, it gives parents a more complete picture of their child's education.

How can the report cards be used by schools and districts?

Report cards are just one of many tools that principals and district leaders can use to identify which schools are doing well and which schools need more help. This will help to understand the strategies that are most effective in improving student performance and allow leaders to provide support to the students and schools that need it most.

Will the report cards change over time?

Yes! This is just the start. We will work with parents, educators, and community members to improve the report cards over time so they continue to meet the needs of Massachusetts families.

Sanderson Academy 2022 Report Card can be found at this LINK.

February Lunch Menu

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Baseball Sign-Ups

Follow this link to sign-up for baseball: https://forms.gle/aiuvHtZb3LdEWycMA